Hello bookworms!! Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday!! This week’s topic is top 5 books about a death.
Thankfully this topic is easier again than last week. Death is one of those BIG topics that authors tend to write about, and I understand why. Grief is such a powerful emotion. The need to talk about it to work through feelings can be a huge inspiration. I got a lot of comfort from books that had grief as a theme when my own father passed away suddenly.
If you missed the April-June 2022 topics, they are out now! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted here @ Meeghan reads.
top 5 books about a death
I must admit, I did spend 10 minutes considering just listing the 5 Discworld books about Death, the character. Mostly for a bit of a laugh, and also because I don’t really shout about those books as much as I should. For reference, they are: Mort, Reaper Man, Soul Music, Hogfather, and Thief of Time. BUT, given my love of books about grief (of which I would do a different top 5 🤔), I chose another 5 books to talk about.
The Shepherd’s Crown — Terry Pratchett
It seems right to start with the final Discworld book. The story, appropriately, starts with a death, and then the themes for the remainder of the story are about legacy, grief, and moving forward while not forgetting.
I say ‘appropriately’, as Pratchett himself had been dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease for years leading up to this book, and passed away during the edits. The book itself isn’t as polished as his books were, which many people commented on. But, the rawness of it appealed to me as another factor of its consequence.
I was pretty much bawling my eyes out from page 2 all the way to the end of the story. And while I haven’t been game enough to read it since, it’s probably time I give the Witch/Tiffany Aching stories another go around.
Undead and Unwed — MaryJanice Davidson
This is another story that starts with a death, although this one is the first book in a series of 15. Of course, this death results in becoming a vampire, but Betsy, our main protagonist, is quite put out about it.
Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a vampire book at least somewhere on this list. And this is honestly such a fun series that is way underrated. It starts off as a bit of a vampire parody series (as I enjoy all vampire series), but while others got serious over time, this one stays with the dark humour right to the end.
The storyline over the 15 books does go a bit far, but honestly, FBAA is only 4 books in and had lost its plot 3 books in, so I found this more forgivable as it only lost the plot around book 11, but brought it back before the end.
A Court of Thorns and Roses — Sarah J Maas
Yup, I went there. There are a few deaths in this one that are intrinsic to the story. The one at the start that sets everything up for the plot in this book. Plus there’s one at the end that sets up the rest of the series.
I’m going to try and not spoil it in case anyone still has this on a TBR, but the one at the end of the book is a game changer. It’s part of the reason that I like this series. But I was less thrilled when we had a repeat plot point in book 3. I thought that was over the top dramatic, and lazy considering it had already been done.
But, as we’re talking about the first book here, I’m a stan. In fact, I think that ACOTAR is one of the better starts of a fantasy series that I’ve ever read. The way it sets up plot points for the following books is so good.
Only a Monster — Vanessa Len
Ok, so this is the most recent book that I’ve finished, and super appropriate for this week’s topic. The main part of the story follows Joan, who after the death of her family (in story) decides on a course of action that then dictates the plot of the book.
The death in this, also near the start of the story, is absolutely critical to the plot. But the story is also dictated by family. Family loyalty, rivals, secrets, and the depths we’re willing to protect family at any cost, all play a part in this amazing debut fantasy novel.
I absolutely loved this book, and I’m super keen to read the sequel (when we get it).
The No-Show — Beth O’Leary
I am absolutely not going to be saying very much about the death in this book, because it’s so new, and I don’t want to spoil anyone. BUT, I will say this book is phenomenal, and one of the best I have read this year.
The story follows three women and their relationships and interactions with one man. The story is absolutely driven by the one death in the story, and the actions of the main characters are all defined by it ― whether they are aware of it or not.
The book reads part like a mystery and part like a romance novel. I absolutely adored it, and I think it’s my new favourite of all of Beth O’Leary’s books.
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