TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten most recent reads
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on the ten books I’ve read most recently. I’m proud to say that I’ve already reviewed a few of them (for once!), so if you’re interested on my detailed thoughts on any of these books, I’ll link those reviews below.
Sean and I spent April reading the entire YA Book Prize shortlist, so four of the ten books I’ve read most recently were featured on that shortlist. If you’re interested, I did a YA Book Prize reading vlog and then Sean and I uploaded a discussion video where we talked in depth about each of the books on the shortlist, so that could be a fun watch if you have a few hours to spare!
Without further ado, let me shine a spotlight on the ten books I’ve read most recently…
Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter
Melt My Heart was a five star read for me, and was one of the books I read as part of the YA Book Prize shortlist. Following a girl called Lily Rose who accidentally ends up dating the boy her twin sister is obsessed with, this was everything I wanted from a YA contemporary and more. It’s the perfect coming of age novel, exploring sexuality and body positivity, as well as discussing whether university is really as essential as people think. Featuring great bi rep and a confident and unapologetic fat main character, Melt My Heart makes me wonder whether Bethany Rutter could become one of my favourite authors in time.
Scent by Isabel Costello
I really enjoyed Scent, and gave it four stars. Scent tells the story of a perfumier called Clémentine, who is surprised when her ex-girlfriend turns up in her life over 20 years since they last saw each other. Their relationship ended badly, and the reader gets to see it play out as the story jumps between the present and the past, making for some exquisite pacing.
Wranglestone by Darren Charlton
Wranglestone is another YA Book Prize shortlisted book. Following a boy called Peter who lives on an island in the middle of a lake, this is a post-apocalyptic novel focused on a community who find themselves in terrible danger when the lake freezes every winter and the dead are suddenly able to get closer to them than ever before. I gave Wranglestone three stars because something about the writing style feels muddled to me, but I really appreciated the fact that there’s finally a YA zombie novel with a gay romance – something I’ve never seen done before!
Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury
My penultimate YA Book Prize shortlist read. Protagonist Alva believes that her father is a murderer, so she is plotting to run away from home and go and start a new life for herself away from the constant risk of death. She has played by the rules for living with a murderer for years, biding her time, but enough is enough. However, she soon discovers that all is not as it seems in the Scottish highlands, and there might be darker things than her father lurking in the shadows. I would have loved this book even without the supernatural elements, but they made it impossible to put this book down. This deserves the five stars I gave it!
Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy
A queer sci-fi King Arthur retelling which blew me away! I gave Once & Future four stars, because it’s impossible to resist being hooked by the story of Ari, the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, and poor Merlin who is growing younger every time a new Arthur is found. I struggled to connect to the start of the story because there was a lot going on very quickly, but as soon as teenage Merlin rocked up I was gripped. I gave Once & Future four stars, and I can’t wait to read the sequel later this month.
Loveless by Alice Oseman
The final book I read for the YA Book Prize shortlist, Loveless was a reread for me which I enjoyed more the second time around. The first time I read Loveless I gave it 3.5 stars, but after rediscovering this story I bumped it up to four stars. Loveless tells the story of Georgia, who is undertaking her first year at university. She’s never been kissed and never been in a romantic relationship and people treat Georgia as though there’s something wrong with her, but when she joins the Pride Society she discovers that she’s not as alone as she thought. This is the first book I’ve read about asexuality, and I think it’s going to help an awful lot of people in the future.
Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
I still can’t believe that I was able to take part in the blog tour for Kate in Waiting. Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is still one of my favourite books of all time, and I enjoyed Kate in Waiting almost as much. Telling the story of Kate and Anderson, best friends who constantly have communal crushes, this book focuses on the importance of friendship (while also putting together a high school adaptation of Once Upon a Mattress!). I’m a sucker for musical theatre and I love YA contemporaries that celebrate friendship, so it’s not a surprise that I gave this book four stars.
Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab
The third (and currently final!) book in the Cassidy Blake series, Victoria Schwab’s third middle-grade novel sadly disappointed me. I still gave it four stars, but compared to the first two – which were instant five stars and new favourite books – this one didn’t live up to my expectations. There’s an overabundance of Harry Potter references which kept throwing me out of the story, and the location of New Orleans wasn’t explored quite as thoroughly as I was hoping it would be. However, this book did inspire me to pick up Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw, which is living up to my expectations so far!
The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray
When Odyssey Books approached me about reviewing The Ruby Locket, I jumped at the chance. I love YA dystopians, even if the genre does seem to be a bit tired, so I was looking forward to exploring a dystopian world which I knew nothing about. I’ve already reviewed The Ruby Locket, and I ended up giving it three stars: it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t impress me all that much. There were too many extremely short chapters so it was hard to get fully absorbed in the story, but the concept of the Okodee (people with fast healing and unnatural strength) was intriguing and I would be interested in reading more about them in the future.
Heaven Has No Regrets by Tessa Shaffer
My most recent read was Heaven Has No Regrets, which I read via NetGalley. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like this book and ended up giving it two stars. I explore the reasons why more thoroughly in my review, but my main issue is that it contained extremely graphic descriptions of one of the main characters purging due to suffering with bulimia, and I found it to be very triggering. This is a book which I should have DNFed, but I was too stubborn and forced my way through it to the detriment of my own mental health.
I hope that you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday list! Feel free to link your posts down in the comments so I can see which books you’ve read recently.
Thanks for reading,