Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books I’ve loved that I want to read more like. Whether that’s more from the same author, the same genre or a certain theme in the …
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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m sorry for disappearing for a few weeks! The past few Top Ten Tuesday topics haven’t been inspiring to me, but I’ve also been having a difficult mental health spell and trying to concentrate …
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,
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m loving the fact that Top Ten Tuesday are having so many colour-related prompts at the moment. Last week’s topic was book titles that would work brilliantly as Crayola colour names, and this week’s …
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
There’s a difference between a bad book and a book which is so next-level terrible that you’d gladly throw it into the ocean. These ten books are ones that are so bad that I wish they hadn’t even been published!
Crossed by Ally Condie
I read Crossed by Ally Condie last month, and I hated it. It’s the most pointless second book in a series I have ever read. You could easily skip it and go straight from Matched to Reached and feel as though you hadn’t missed out on anything at all!
Big Bones by Laura Dockrill
I read Big Bones when it was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize back in 2019, and I found it horrendously triggering. This book features scenes in which the main character describes exactly how she makes herself sick after binging, and that’s not something that needs to be published.
Bunker by Andrea Maria Schenkel
Or, more specifically, the English translated version of Bunker by Andrea Maria Schenkel. I tried to read this with Sean, but we ended up DNFing it even though it was only just over 100 pages because it was extremely difficult to read. The sentences were fragmented, some paragraphs managing to stretch over two or three pages in length because of how badly the story had been translated. I’d be interested in knowing if this is better in the original German!
The Dead Days Journal by Sandra R. Campbell
The Dead Days Journal is one of the only books I’ve DNFed this year so far, but I found it absolutely disgusting. It’s the end of the world, so a girl’s doomsday-prepper father arranges for one of the other members of their community to rape his daughter because she doesn’t want to have a baby. Gross, gross, GROSS.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
It’s not a secret that I hate The Fault in Our Stars. I just don’t understand why everyone is so enamored with it. John Green plagiarises himself, copying one of the most impactful quotes from Looking For Alaska and shoving it into this poorly constructed metaphor of a novel. I will never forgive him for that decision.
Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn
Another book I DNFed. I thought the pterodactyl in the title was going to be some kind of allegory, but it’s not. It’s literally a girl, falling in love with a hot pterodactyl. What.
Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan
Marly’s Ghost is a retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, in which a boy’s girlfriend dies and all of his friends treat him terribly because he hasn’t gotten over her death. She’s been dead for like a month! Leave the boy alone, you monsters! I read this back in 2016 and it still irritates the hell out of me.
Massive by Julia Bell
Another story about weight and eating disorders that I found extremely triggering. For some reason when I read Massive I gave it two stars, but in hindsight this definitely feels more like a one star novel.
The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
I normally like trips to museums, but this one was boring and bland. There’s a ‘twist’ which I saw coming within the first page – LITERALLY – and other than that not an awful lot happens. An absolutely gorgeous cover, but I feel no regrets about unhauling this book.
The Sham by Ellen Allen
Another absolutely disgusting book that I’m glad I DNFed. Within the first couple of chapters there are torture scenes in which a group of girls bully an autistic child and force him to do some heinous things. I still feel physically sick when I think about this book.
I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday list! Are there any books you really want to throw into the ocean?
See you soon,
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is actually funny book titles, but after wracking my brains for hours I still couldn’t think of any. Instead, I’ve decided to shine a spotlight on ten books that …
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a spring cleaning freebie, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about ten books I’ll probably unhaul at some point.
Some of these are ones that I didn’t enjoy much and I’m not sure I’ll reread, some of these are ones that I’m hanging onto for nostalgic values but I don’t really want in my house anymore, and some of these are ones that I don’t know if I’ll ever actually read!
I’ll be doing this list alphabetically again, because there’s not really an order of preference to when/if I’ll get rid of them. It’ll just depend on how I feel at the time of my next unhaul.
So, without further ado…
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Sean owns two copies of this novel – one in the standard blue cover, and one in a gorgeous lilac – while I also have a copy of the blue cover edition. Since moving in together it has meant we have three copies of the book on our shelves, and neither of us have actually read it! I read Breathless by Jennifer Niven in January and sadly didn’t love it, while Sean DNF’d it at 25%. If we end up feeling the same way about All the Bright Places when we eventually read it, we’ll definitely be unhauling these multiple editions.
Everless by Sara Holland
When I first read Everless, I really enjoyed it. The epilogue put a bit of a dampener on things, but I was still excited to pick up the sequel, Evermore. It ended up being majorly disappointing. I’m currently keeping hold of my copy of Everless because it has red sprayed pages and looks really cool, but I definitely won’t be rereading it so it is just taking up unnecessary space.
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
We’re lucky enough to live near a charity shop which gives away free books. When we went in there just before the first lockdown, we somehow managed to find fancy special edition hardbacks of the last two books in the Dark Tower series, and it has made us determined to get the matching set at some point. The copy of The Gunslinger that we currently own is paperback, so if we ever find a special edition hardback copy we will be replacing it!
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
My reasons for wanting to unhaul this should be obvious. I vehemently disagree with the personal views J.K. Rowling has been spouting on her Twitter throughout the past year (so much so that her name became the first phrase I ever muted on Twitter).
Two reasons stand between me and unhauling these books. First of all, I haven’t actually finished reading the series yet! I was planning on reading them last year, read the first three books and have not yet continued because I don’t want to promote her or discuss her writing. Some part of me still wants to finish the series just so I know what all of the fuss is about, because I haven’t been overly impressed with any of the first three novels.
The other reason – and the one more important to me personally – is that these novels were all gifts from my mum. I vividly remember her buying me the first two books, because I didn’t often get books brand new. I was such an avid user of the library that I didn’t need to own them! I also remember reading the third book out of the library when I was younger, and when I got to the end the last page was missing and my mum specifically went to town that day to buy me my own copy so that I could finish the story off. I aspire to be that good of a mum to my little ones when they’re a bit older. She even bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on release day, just in case I caught up and wanted to read it as soon as possible.
I have fond memories of my Harry Potter books, even though I’m not the biggest fan of the series so far. I will never purchase another book by J.K. Rowling – hell, I’ll never borrow another of her books from the library because the UK has PLR and authors get paid for their books being borrowed – but because she’s already been given the money for the books that I own I still might read them. This is the inclusion on this list that I feel the most torn about.
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
I’m considering unhauling this series for similar reason to my Harry Potter books. James Dashner has exhibited some problematic behaviour in the past, and even though I’m still interested in reading this series (it comes very highly recommended by my best friend!), I just can’t bring myself to actually pick it up. I had multiple copies because of how gorgeous the covers were, and I’ve already unhauled a set of them, so I don’t think it’s going to be too long until I call it quits and clear these off of my shelf.
Nowhere Else But Here by Rachel Cotton
Nowhere Else But Here is a cute YA contemporary romance about a boy who disappears, only to turn up on our protagonist’s doorstep, leaving her no choice but to hide him in her bedroom. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember why he disappears or why she feels the need to hide him, and that makes me very tempted to reread this book. However, I don’t often reread YA contemporaries, because there are just too many new ones that I haven’t had a chance to pick up yet.
My main reason for keeping this book is that it was kindly sent to me by the publisher, as I took part in the blog tour, and it came with a pair of socks! It was the first advanced copy I’d ever received with a bonus gift, and for that reason it gives me really happy memories.
The Ragwitch by Garth Nix
The Ragwitch was a pretty mediocre debut novel, especially from an author who has gone on to become as famous as Garth Nix. However, some of the vivid scenes still stick in my mind. It makes me wonder whether I’m going to end up enjoying his later novels much more than his first one. My main justification for keeping The Ragwitch is that I think it would be fun to read to the babies when they’re older. The creepy setting and fantasy elements are ones that I would have loved in my bedtime stories, but I’m not sure whether to unhaul this and find a better book to read with them.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My copy of Ready Player One is a paperback with a movie tie-in cover. My copy of the sequel, Ready Player Two, is a fancy signed hardback with sprayed pages. I want these to match, so I’ll probably unhaul the paperback and splurge on a hardback of book one.
Top Marks For Murder by Robin Stevens
Sean won’t let me unhaul this book, but I’m tempted to do it. I ordered Top Marks For Murder as a gift for Sean just after it was released. It got put on the bookcase and not taken off until we read it at the end of 2020, when I discovered that my memory had lied to me. I thought we had the sprayed pages edition, but it’s just a normal, white paged copy!
We eventually want to own all of the sprayed pages editions of the Murder Most Unladylike series (even though it will mean that we’ve got multiple copies), but because this one lied to me I’m tempted to get it off of our shelves and replace it as soon as possible. I definitely won’t, because Sean is too attached to it because it was a gift from me, but I’m looking forward to the day that we finish our collection of sprayed editions!
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
I’m a bit confused about what Twisted actually is. The synopsis reads like it’s a standalone, but I swear I saw somewhere that it’s actually a companion novel to Speak. If it’s a companion novel I would like to reread Speak before picking it up, but I don’t have easy access to a copy which is one reason I’m put off from this book.
The other reason is that Laurie Halse Anderson is very much a Marmite author to me. I’ve loved some of her books (Wintergirls, The Impossible Knife of Memory) and I’ve hated some of her books (Prom, Catalyst). Twisted could fall in either camp, but I’m very apprehensive about picking it up.
And those are all of the books I’m thinking of unhauling at the moment! If you have strong feelings on these books either way – if you love them and you’d recommend I keep them, or hate them and want me to get them out of my house ASAP – please let me know down in the comments.
Please also share your spring cleaning freebie topics! Freebie weeks are always so much fun.
As always, thank you for reading,
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about celebrating books with purple, yellow and green covers because today is Mardi Gras! Without further ado, here are some pictures of the best purple, yellow …