Hello bookworms!! Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday!! This week’s topic is top 5 rainy day reads.
The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz said it best, and with skin like mine, I definitely belong to the rain. Which includes being indoors, on a comfy armchair, snuggled under a blanket, with a pile of books and a huge cup of tea. And as a winter baby (because June is winter down south) I feel like I can claim winter as my season.
top 5 rainy day reads
So, what exactly IS a ‘rainy day read’? On one hand, I feel like ‘rainy day reads’ are books that should have rain almost as a secondary character. Think like your Moby Dick type titles where you feel damp just from reading along. But on the other hand, on ‘rainy days’ all I want to do it curl up with a comfort read. Something I can fly through during a thunderstorm. Ambient lightning in the background. Giant claps of thunder breaking up the perpetual sound of falling rain. Probably not anything remotely horror-like, if you’re a scaredy cat like me… But maybe something a little dark to suit the weather.
The Darkest Part of the Forest — Holly Black
Easily one of my favourite Holly Black books, The Darkest Part of the Forest is just twisty enough to keep me glued to the page. But with enough ‘Holly Black fairytale-ness’ to not terrify me at the same time. Plus, it’s a standalone, but set in that bigger fae world of hers that also has Jude and Cardan (later).
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
The Wicked Deep — Shea Ernshaw
I really enjoyed The Wicked Deep. I mean, if you go read my review, I was mildly disappointed by the ending, but it’s got that whole dark, twisty, fairytale-esque vibe that I love, that sits firmly on the fantasy side of the fence, and not the thriller side. Which is exactly where I want my books to sit!!
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
The Price Guide to the Occult — Leslye Walton
Speaking of vaguely spooky fantasy books, let’s add in The Price Guide to the Occult. I will (probably) never stop screaming about this one. It was such a surprise read for me because I genuinely loved everything about it, and I still think about it. Plus, if you’re looking for a stormy vibe, this book has got you covered. There’s dark, spooky mist, crazy thunderstorms and *waves hand in vague motions* pretty sure torrential rain. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve read it.
When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them.
Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too.
But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.
Neverwhere — Neil Gaiman
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about this Neverwhere, but if we’re doing rainy day reads, then there’s really no setting more rainy than London. And vaguely creepy, fantasy books that are kind of fairytale-esque as a description would definitely suit this book. I still think this is one of the best ‘fairytales for adults’ books you can get, and I should do a reread soon. Probably of all of these books…
Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.
Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.
The Scorpio Races — Maggie Stiefvater
Umm, well, I was GOING to choose something else. But then I realised that if my whole aesthetic for this post was vaguely creepy, standalone fantasy books, then it’s not much of a list if I don’t add The Scorpio Races. Because what’s more vaguely creepy and fantasy-like than a Celtic inspired retelling of murderous water horses? Plus, I just love this book so much.
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition ― the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
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