The Hamilton Book Tag

hamilton book tag

This tag has been a long time coming. I’ve been obsessed with the musical Hamilton for about a year now, and I’ve professed my love frequently on both this blog and social media! (Along with many other things. :P) A while back I did the Les Mis Book Tag, so I think it’s only fair that I now give centre stage to the revolutionaries across the Atlantic! Although I wasn’t actually tagged for it, I found this on Chasing Faerytales; it was originally created by Maureen Keavy.

carry on uk cover

The Room Where it Happens: a book world you would put yourself in

Well, I probably should say Harry Potter. Because I love the Wizarding world, and I also love magic, and the Ministry of Magic also SUPER needs reforms. (Has anyone noticed the utter lack of democracy? Yeah, no.) But I have to confess that I think I’d go to Watford from Carry On! Because the spells are based on popular idioms, and I am a language nerd. And also because I like cherry scones.

The Schuyler Sisters: an underrated female character

*waves hands around frantically* I HAVE SO MANY CHOICES FOR THIS GUYS. I’m frequently upset by the lack of love given to girls in books. (Ginny Weasley! Agatha Wellbelove! Blue Sargent!) But I think I’m going to go for Cosette Fauchelevent from Les Mis, because I have been in love with her since forever. Asdfjkl she is just an amazing kind goddess person and I find it difficult to express my affection. ❤this savage song

My Shot: a character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything stop them

This description definitely fits Kate Harker from VE Schwab’s This Savage Song. (I know it’s Victoria Schwab in the US, but my UK version says VE. So I AM GOING WITH THAT.) I mean, she definitely has a lot more depth beneath her cold ambitious exterior, but she is still a very scary girl. You know, killing monsters and all that.

Stay Alive: a character you wish was still alive 

I mean, this applies to every single character from Les Mis, but that’s a given. 😉 I don’t want to spoil too much so I’ll put it in white, but: ALED’S DOG FROM RADIO SILENCE BY ALICE OSEMAN. Literally the most heart-breaking thing, oh my goodness. (And yes, that counts as a character.)

fans of the impossible lifeBurn: the most heartbreaking relationship you’ve ever read

There are rather a lot of contenders here – particularly Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park — but one that sticks out to me is Fans of the Impossible Life. It’s not the most well-known book ever, but I ADORED it and I 100% recommend it if you’re looking for an awesome contemporary YA with queer characters. Anyway, all three of the main characters are (kind of?) in a relationship and you sort of know it’s coming, but… you feel the pain anyway. And I swear this isn’t much of a spoiler. IT’S ON THE FIRST PAGE.

You’ll Be Back: sassiest villain

Man, I’m going to have to go with another Schwab: Victor Vale from Vicious this time! Aside from the obvious awesomeness of this book, Victor has a lot of great angsty cutting lines.there will be lies

The Reynolds Pamphlet: a book with a twist that you didn’t see coming

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake is the most plot twist-y book I have ever read. Not only is there one crazy twist, but multiple. I even forgot they were coming when I re-read it. PROPS TO HIM FOR THAT.

Non-Stop: a series you marathoned

I read The Mortal Instruments + Infernal Devices over the summer two years ago (wow, that sounds so long!) but more recently I marathoned the first three books of The Raven Cycle. I finally gave into the hype and got out all three from my public library! It’s safe to say that I fell in love and haven’t looked back. 😛

ghostwrittenSatisfied: favourite book with multiple POVs

Yes! That is a non-YA book you see! Although David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is probably more well known, I was astounded by his ability to differentiate no less that 9 (9!) first person perspectives in this. All writers should take notes on character voices. *nods* Each story has its own flavour, and you wish that they didn’t finish so soon! I’m always so interested in fleeting connections with other people’s lives, so this was perfect for me.

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: a book/series you feel will be remembered throughout history

Harry Potter is the obvious answer for a modern book here. And I’m pretty sure that it will be remembered for an awfully long time! But, you know, I’d also hope that Shakespeare’s plays and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables would also make it through. (I know this is the Hamilton and not the Les Mis book tag. I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT MUSICALS. As I’m sure you all know by now haha.)

are you a hamilton fan like me? which song is your favourite? and if you enjoyed this, check out my les mis v hamilton fandom battle!

One more thing: I’m going to be away with absolutely zero wifi between 24th July (Sunday) and 4th August. Unfortunately I won’t be able to talk to you during that time, but I’ll be catching up as soon as I get back!

Les Mis v Hamilton

les mis v hamilton final

Two musicals, alike in revolution-ing… Which one is the better? Today I’m joined by the wonderful Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages to present to you the arguments for superiority of two fandoms featuring real historical revolutions: Les Misérables and Hamilton!

team les mis

Hi there! It’s Evi from Adventuring Through Pages! Eve is amazing, and I’m so eager to do this with her. I am covering Les Misérables, as you can see, though it was kinda hard to choose because asldkhflsdk THEY ARE BOTH AMAZING. (Note: this is all, obviously, in good fun. We’re just both massive geeks. 😀 )

1. While Les Mis is set canonically later than Hamilton…we’ve been around a lot longer

Les Misérables was published in 1862, and the musical opened in Paris  in 1980 – its very first performance – and has been around and loved since then. EVERYBODY has heard of Les Mis. It has performed in 44 countries, schools all over the place, and 347 cities. It’s even been made into the 2012 movie! So I think that we technically get authority credit for being so well-loved as compared to these young whippersnappers with their rapping and odd dance moves.

2.The characters are THE BEST

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t say it outright in the book…but Marius is a huge dork, Cosette is the literal cinnamon roll™, Valjean is the best father figure, and the Amis- even though they’re totally epic revolutionaries- all have so many intense personalities. Javert himself is one of the most complex characters on the planet- like, he’s a good guy…but he also wants to get rid of the main character, so that proves a bit difficult. The Thenardiers are an odd bunch as well, because literally everybody hates them but they are also massive comedic relief in the musical & movie. There’s more adorableness and less sass-and-relationship-drama-and-battle-issues-and-people-who-are-literally-the-phrase-“fight-me” as seen in Hamilton.

(Also tiny Cosette is adorable let’s face it she is)

3.The style of music is more classic and appeals to a larger crowd

While there is a lot to be said about Hamilton’s uniqueness in music style, Les Mis has a more classic, traditional style that appeals to a larger crowd than just those who enjoy rap/hip-hop. There are love songs, there are angry stirring fight-y songs, there are saddening but hopeful finale music, and there are dramatic self-reflection songs that may or may not result in you falling into a river. There’s music for everyone in it!

Also, one of my personal favorite things about Les Mis is how much there are common musical melodies that get repeated over and over in different ways. Leitmotifs are a common theme in musicals, I just think it’s really evident in Les Mis and that’s something I love.

4.The fandom is kind of ginormous and also really friendly

Because the Les Mis fandom has literally been around for nearly 200 years…it’s kind of huge. People of all ages and backgrounds love it (in fact, the musical has been translated into 22 different languages)! And because there’s not much to argue about, the fandom as a whole is really nice. There’s amazing fanart and funny textpost compilations and fan-made videos of people singing medleys. There is just so much to explore that Hamilton doesn’t yet have (though personally I hope it gets there).

les mis fandom post
source: imgur

(so maybe it attempts to consume your entire life hahaha it’s alright you’ll be okay)

5. You learn A LOT from the book

I…knew very little about French history and their failed revolutions and basically ANYTHING until I read Les Misérables. So it’s a history lesson AND a book of ginormous emotions and pretty words all in one! I mean, we have a book (Les Mis is separated into volumes, then books, then chapters) on France’s historical sewer systems. I know what every character looks like and how much Bishop Myriel spends on his charities and personal expenses (15,000 livres, if you’re curious). I know that Marius Pontmercy apparently has “well-opened and passionate nostrils” (Chapter One of the sixth book of the third volume). I know that Jean “Jehan” Prouvaire plays the flute. Essentially, if you take away the fact that it is the basis for the musical and all that, Les Misérables is the book every fan wants- an in-depth discussion of EVERYTHING that happened and WHO each character is and WHAT they like to do in their free time and EXACTLY HOW well-opened their nostrils are. It’s a ginormous companion book that isn’t, y’know, actually a companion book. Let it never be said that you don’t come away from Les Mis learning a lot.

team hamilton
This is Eve here! MAN AM I READY FOR THIS FIGHT. *cracks knuckles* Although like Evi said, I absolutely stress that I don’t actually want to physically fight you or anything. I love both fandoms like crazy. (As you all probably know by now!)

1. The music and lyrics are AMAZING

Hamilton is just an exceedingly well-composed musical. And exceedingly well-written. Not only does each character have their own musical motifs; they also have a distinctive style of lyrics. It makes my musical side extremely pleased. *sighs happily* Hamilton just has such a unique style of music and lyrics and sooo many fabulous songs asdfjkl. They’re CRAZY DAMN CATCHY.

JEFFERSON: I’m in the cabinet. I am complicit in
Watching him grabbin’ at power and kissin’ it
If Washington isn’t gon’ listen
To disciplined dissidents, this is the difference:
This kid is out!

Have you seen these lyrics?!??? I CAN’T EVEN IT’S SO GREAT.

2. It appeals to a wide audience

Musical theatre people? History people? Students? Teachers? HAMILTON APPEALS TO ALL THESE PEOPLE. And it’s also brought in a more mainstream audience — I mean, you could hear its songs on the radio. And hopefully you will. It’s so great to see people who wouldn’t normally be interested suddenly LOVE something. (I, at least, have developed a weird interest in US history. *coughs*) I think this fact — the transformation of what is for some an incredibly boring subject into something everyone can enjoy — shows something very special.

3. Lin Manuel-Miranda is super cool

Victor Hugo was…a bit of an egotistical asshole. He thought he was an amazing prodigy. He probably wrote his own memoir under his wife’s name. Obviously I don’t know LMM (the writer/Alex Hamilton) personally, but he just seems like a Genuinely Nice Guy™. He makes nerdy musical references! He responds and joins in which the fandom! He makes stupid vines ! He has also written another great musical called In the Heights! He and the cast give us Ham4Ham shows with cheap tickets and free fabulous music when they really, really don’t have to. It feels a lot better to like something made by wonderful people doing wonderful things.

ladies of hamilton ham4ham
LOOK AT THE AWESOME CAST BEING AWESOME (source)

4. The revolution survives, as do (some of) your faves

i’m not crying there’s just rain on my face Les Mis details the July uprising of 1832, which…well. It failed. Everyone died. Yep. Hamilton is about the War of Independence in the USA, which obviously didn’t fail because it’s still independent. This particular band of revolutionaries actually manages to get its act together and you’re not (immediately) left crying. I mean, everyone has to die in the end because this was 200 years ago and even asshole revolutionaries are not immortal. But within the musical, a decent amount of people survive! Hurrah for less emotional scarring!

5. Actual history = SO MUCH CANON

Les Mis was published in 1865? ALEXANDER HAMILTON WAS BORN IN 1755, SUCKERS. HA. Les Mis is based on a novel? So is Hamilton. (It was inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography.) You can read historical documents; letters from Hamilton to Laurens, Jefferson to Madison, Angelica to Hamilton; the actual Federalist papers; years and years of historical analysis. You might even study him at school! (Alas, not I, but I live in hope.) Hamilton’s legacy is visible in the USA today. He’s on the 10$ bills. I refuse to believe there is more Les Mis fandom to explore, thanks.

thanks so much for writing this with me, evi! now it’s your turn: whose argument was more persuasive? which fandom do YOU choose?

October Favourites!

october faves

October is now… Octover. (Hush. Let me quote stupid Tumblr posts in peace.) Still: November! The month of NaNoWriMo! And 2016 is in 2 months! This is so weird!

1. Hamilton *flings open window* I AM NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOTTT So, everyone on Tumblr was talking about this musical. It sounds like it shouldn’t work — uh huh, a hip-hop opera about the founding fathers of America? I guess? — but IT TOTALLY DOES. It’s awesome. The lyrics, guys. (I think I just really like musicals about dead revolutionaries, full stop. History is always improved by overdramatic singing.)

2. Always Human by walkingnorth I hadn’t really been reading any good webcomics lately… UNTIL I FOUND THIS ONE! And it’s an adorable sci fi thing with girls falling in love and awesome art and asfdjkl did I mention how cute it is. Seriously. Go read it nooow. (I started reading it in summer? But then it got taken down so it could be featured in October. And now it’s updating again, yay!)

3. In Perfect Light by Benjamin Alire Saenz Yep, it’s the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe… It turns out he has written a bunch of other, seriously awesome books. Like, wow. The best book I’ve read in ages. His writing style from Ari and Dante definitely shows through here too. I mean, I definitely enjoyed that, but I think I liked this one more. I have zero idea why people aren’t all over it because WOW CHARACTERS AND POETIC WRITING DAAAMN. *whispers* I loved it.

4. MCM Comic Con Yes. That is a pack of tea with the Doctor on the front. A HAUL POST IS COMING! But I wore my Penny Bunce cosplay and spent too much money and the world was in its rightful nerdy place. *nods*

5. The Big Lie by Julie Hearn It’s Britain, but if the Nazis had won WW2. Plus political disobedience, queer characters, and awesome writing. ‘Tis good.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell AHAHAHA. No surprise here. My love affair with Watford is no secret. ❤ Carry On was a little different to what I expected — and not perfect, but I totally loved it. ALL MY SMALL MAGES, WHY DO YOU PINE SUCH. *shakes head* (Though, people: Carry On is not Cath’s fanfiction. It’s not designed to be in her style, or in the style of fic.)

7. Oceans by Lauren Aquilina Yep. Lauren’s new EP aah! Her style has definitely grown since her last EP, and I’m so in love with it. 🙂 I also got a SIGNED CD. And a POSTER WITH MY NAME ON IT!! I’m totally cool! not omg Lauren SIGNED MY EP

Stuff from around the internet:

  • This month my top posts were Should We Judge Books By Their Authors?, I Am a Person Too and Poetry: Ashore.
  • It was asexual awareness week! I was hoping to write, like, an actual blog post rather than a few links but… I was pretty disorganised, and life got in the way. You should totally visit the site though, and here is cute comic drawn for last year’s ace awareness week which I think explains asexuality myths nicely. (Sorry, but A does not stand for Allies.)
  • It was the Les Mis 30th Anniversary! I didn’t get tickets to a show or anything, but. There you go. It was on the same day as the Carry On UK release, weirdly. Speaking of:
  • There were a lot of Rainbow Rowell interviews, because, well. CARRY ON WAS RELEASED ASDFJKL
  • There’s going to be a new Solitaire novellaaaa.
  • Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages shared her Raven Cycle character playlists.
  • Okay, I was really bad at reading blogs this months. I’m really sorry. And I’ll probably be bad at it next month too because NaNo. UGHHH.

In the diary:

  • I got a haircut! I don’t normally take selfies, but I thought this one was nice, so: here, my new short hair. 🙂

  • Sooo I started attending a Japanese club at school with my friend. I mean, I’m progressing rather slowly because it’s just one lunchtime a week, but we’re trying to learn some out of school too. (And I might be going to Japan soon! I actually haven’t been back since I left when I was about six, so I am VERy EXCITED OMG.)
  • I went train-hopping, finally — I just ended up riding the Tube until I got to a nice station, and then sat down and did some writing. Okay, I know that sounds like the literal craziest thing ever but I’ve wanted to do that for ages.

If you didn’t see my moany and/or panicked tweets, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month! Weirdly, this is my third year — even though it still feels so new. I’m hoping to get some decent writing done, but it does mean that I’m probably not going to be around the blogging community as much. I’ll (hopefully) see you guys on the other side, though, hehe. 😉

How was your month? Did you do anything for Halloween? Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?