Good morning bookworms!
Top 5 Tuesday post is actually a TOP 10 Tuesday this week (I think Shanah knows us well enough by now to know none of us will stop at 5…) and the subject is ‘ALL TIME FAVOURITES’! *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*
Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by the super lovely Shanah over at the Bionic Bookworm. You can visit her here, and join in for Top 5 Tuesday by checking out all the amazing topics that are coming up!
OMG, I am so excited, and I don’t know how I’m going to keep this to just 10, when I have trouble keeping normal weeks below 25… (yes, my willpower is actually quite impressive!)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is probably my most fave novel ever. Considering I only read it last year this is a pretty big call. However, I actually read it twice last year, and am currently listening to the audiobook for it as well. (I was on planes and buses and driving a lot last week, ok? Shhh. I know it’s not on my TBR.) It’s basically everything I never even knew I wanted in a book. Magical sea horses that murder people, two introverts kind of maybe respectfully liking each other, Finn tinkering on cars, and a wind swept, rocky island off the coast of nowhere that hosts the race to end all races. If you haven’t read this book and you like magical realism and aren’t scared of corpses and blood, then please go read this. It’ll break your heart, but also make is so much better.
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is a breathtakingly bold story of revenge that I am still not over. Between Nevernight, Godsgrave, and very likely also Darkdawn, I have not seen another ADULT fantasy series that is so lovingly crafted, yet also full of murder, intrigue, sarcasm and stabbing. Mia, our MC, is a bisexual teen raised on blood and knives, and whose best friend is a demon shadow kitty. Her favourite type of cake is the free kind, and I cannot wait for the explosive ending to this intense series. FYI, the footnotes are not mandatory, but I think they add an extra level of awesome to this brilliant story.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is definitely up there in my favourite books of all time. Another relatively new (to me) read, I had deliberately stayed away from Gaiman as I decided early on I was a Pratchett fan (I don’t know how or why, but I decided you couldn’t be both – yes, even though I knew they wrote a book together). Anyway, a friend bought me a copy of this for my birthday a couple of years ago, and then hounded me until I read it. It’s essentially a fairy tale for adults. It’s twisted and dark and there are unexpected turns and even more unexpected alliances. And in the middle of it all, is Richard: a nobody in London who fell through the cracks and accidentally stumbled into this magical world that doesn’t exist for most, but is made up of back alleys, roofs, subway tunnels and the spaces in between.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend is a surprise favourite for me. I genuinely wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did – mostly because it’s middle grade fantasy, and I just wasn’t convinced middle grade was for me. Well, wasn’t I wrong about a lot of things. This book absolutely blew my mind. I love the details and the hidden intricacies, as well as all the action and magic. I love the characters and their relationships. I just can’t get enough of Mog, Jupiter, Hawthorne and the whole Hotel Deucalion crew. I am super keen for Hollowpox (book 3) in February 2020 – in fact, now that The Queen of Nothing has been brought forward, Hollowpox is now my number 1 most anticipated book for 2020!
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff absolutely makes this list. In fact, it should probably be worth noting that I love Gemina the most out of the whole trilogy. There’s two scenes in it that I feel like Jay had far more creative control over than Amie did (she’s definitely the nicer of the two – although I have heard there’s an epic cliffhanger in Scorch Dragons that my niece might disagree with me about). If you’ve read the book you’ll probably know which two scenes I’m talking about. They’re the ones that I threw my book across the room while reading. With a giant **** YOU to the authors for it. (But in a super loving and respectful way – you guys are gods, I was just having too many emotions.)
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018 and it broke me. But in the best way possible. This book also became the gateway to my Holly Black obsession. (I now have so many HB books it’s kind of ridiculous, and collecting multiple copies of things every few months.) One of the things that I really love about this series is that it ties in with so many of Holly’s other books. The number of character crossovers and hidden plot nods is magical, and I love it. I am desperately awaiting The Queen of Nothing and every single plot twist that is coming (as well as whatever it is that Cardan deserves)!!
Captive Prince trilogy by C. S. Pacat really can’t escape this list, and I think all three books deserve to be on here equally (but it’s only going to count for one place). Pacat just breaks your heart into 7 million pieces, then goes about hastily sewing it back together, only to throw a live grenade your way without a pin. It’s one of the best enemies to lovers, redemption stories, self-published (originally), fantasy debuts with flawed characters, that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. And I finally bought The Summer Palace and Other Stories so I can immerse myself in this world again.
The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic deserves to be here just as much as Captive Prince. Another debut series that was self-published with a cult-following, The All For the Game trilogy destroyed my soul and my sleep (I read the whole trilogy in 48 hours). The boys in this are never going to be mistaken for angelic cherubs, but I’d protect them with my life nonetheless. I’m actually looking forward to re-reading this one very soon and reminding myself why I love enemies to lovers tropes, broken boys, and found family themes.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne has destroyed all contemporary/romance novels for me, likely for the remainder of my natural life. (I plan to come back as a vampire in my unnatural life so I can continue to read every book known to man. In a dark den. Surrounded by books.) It’s just so amazingly good and filled with enemies to lovers bickering and snark, serial-killer eyes, and *secretly* so much smouldering heat. I honestly can’t imagine anyone looking good in a mustard shirt, but I do love the way these two torment each other. I genuinely haven’t stopped thinking about this book or these characters since I finished reading this book, so call me obsessed, but I am a fan.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater rounds out my top 10 quite nicely. It makes sense to have a Stiefvater book at each end of the list (she is my favourite author), and these books were the gateway drug to my addiction to both, Maggie and magical realism. The surly dreamer Ronan, quietly fading Noah, studiously proud Adam, single-mindedly focused Gansey, and cursed yet confident Blue make up our MCs, and they are each so immeasurably flawed in their own ways that it’s nearly impossible to find at least one of them that you don’t relate to. This series breathed life into my reading when I was at a low point, and also introduced me to Maggie, which I will be forever grateful for.
Honourable mentions (since I can’t keep my mouth shut) go to:
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
- The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli
- Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
- Sabriel – Garth Nix
- A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
- The Last Namsara – Kristen Ciccarelli
- The Boy Who Steals Houses – C. G. Drews
- Emergency Contact – Mary H. K. Choi
- Looking for Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta
- Back After the Break – Anita Notaro